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Last post Author Topic: Custom dice for board games, etc.  (Read 3635 times)

Deozaan

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Custom dice for board games, etc.
« on: April 26, 2016, 10:16:32 PM »
Hello,

I've recently been playing with the idea of having some custom dice made, but I have some fairly specific needs that don't seem to be covered by anything I can find in my searches for companies/sites that will make custom dice. I'm wondering if anyone here knows something I've been unable to find or has suggestions for me.

Here are my needs:

  • Normal, six-sided die.
  • Each side of the die has a different image/design (not numbers or pips).
  • Each side of the die has a different color.

And that's about it. None of the services that laser-etch the dice seem to allow for an option to make each face a different color. So that seems to leave me only with the option to buy blank dice and label each face with stickers.

I can find plenty of blank dice for sale on Amazon, but every single result for stickers are just dots (circles) instead of square stickers. If I have to resort to stickers, I'd really like to get square (preferably with rounded corners) stickers to cover as much of the face as possible. Any square stickers I find anywhere are not sized appropriately for dice, which usually seem to be 16mm3.

I'd also be glad to hear suggestions on how to make the stickers more permanent, i.e., keep them from peeling off or having the image worn away. Or if you have other ideas or suggestions for getting custom dice made other than blanks+stickers, I'd be glad to hear that as well.

Thanks!


4wd

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2016, 11:02:36 PM »
Dice & Games LTD (UK) do custom dice with different colour each side, minimum order is 25 though.

But there may be companies in the USA that also do laser engraving.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2016, 11:14:20 PM by 4wd »

Deozaan

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2016, 11:38:07 PM »
Dice & Games LTD (UK) do custom dice with different colour each side, minimum order is 25 though.

But there may be companies in the USA that also do laser engraving.

Thanks! There are definitely US companies that do laser engraving, but none that I've found that allow me to choose different colors for each side.

That site looks potentially promising. Except now that I think of it, the images I wanted to use don't exactly lend themselves well to the silhouette design required for laser etching. But maybe I could modify them to fit that style. And I also have no idea how much it would cost to make. I clicked everywhere that seemed like it might lead to me a price, but I could never find one.

And again, because I had already ruled out laser-etching and was focusing on finding stickers to print, I guess I forgot to mention that I would ideally like to have 2 colors on each face. I'd like a foreground and background color, unique to each face. But if I had to, I could just go with white dice with a single (but unique) color on each face.

And having a minimum order of 25 is a bit much. I mean, I want to order maybe 20-30 dice, but that's with 10 different designs. I really don't want to have to order 250 dice to get my 10 designs made. This is yet another reason why using stickers might be best for my wants/needs.

« Last Edit: May 03, 2016, 05:22:38 PM by Deozaan »

Ath

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2016, 03:50:09 AM »
When looking for specialty stickers, did you check your local copy/print-shop? They usually have a high-res color laser printer and sticker backings that would do just fine, for an acceptable price. :up:

mouser

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2016, 10:50:12 AM »
Recently a company put out some dice with colored sides that you can remove and change -- designed to be useful for prototyping games:
http://boardgamegeek...nes-prototyping-dice

IMG_0701_large.jpg

Stoic Joker

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2016, 11:26:22 AM »
I could just go with white dice with a single (but unique) color on each face.

If you're willing to use stickers, why not just get some medium - to any - size labels, print what you want on them (including face/background color), and then trim them to size for the die face.

MilesAhead

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2016, 11:39:56 AM »
I could just go with white dice with a single (but unique) color on each face.

If you're willing to use stickers, why not just get some medium - to any - size labels, print what you want on them (including face/background color), and then trim them to size for the die face.


That sounds suspiciously like cheating to me man.



Heh heh.  The request made me think of Cosmic Wimpout






Deozaan

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2016, 05:16:00 PM »
When looking for specialty stickers, did you check your local copy/print-shop? They usually have a high-res color laser printer and sticker backings that would do just fine, for an acceptable price. :up:

I haven't checked any local brick-and-mortar places. I didn't think I knew of any local copy/print shops, but one just came to mind. Thanks for the suggestion!

If you're willing to use stickers, why not just get some medium - to any - size labels, print what you want on them (including face/background color), and then trim them to size for the die face.

This is an option I have considered, but was hoping to not have the imprecision of cutting them out myself. If I could find some template stickers that were the right size/shape, it would be much preferable than having to cut them out myself. Another possible option would be to find a hole punch that would make it easier to punch out a sticker in the right size/shape.

Recently a company put out some dice with colored sides that you can remove and change -- designed to be useful for prototyping games:
http://boardgamegeek...nes-prototyping-dice

Those look interesting, but still not quite right for what I want. I want the colors & designs on each face.

It's looking more and more like I'll be going the printing route.

Anyone know if 3D printers can do what I want? That would be cool.

EDIT: Looks like it's possible. Sort of. But that one looks like it can only do 3 colors at once.

I also found this which shows off a printer capable of printing up to 390,000 colors, but that seems to be a site for buying the printer itself. Who knows if I could find a place that would let me make a custom order from them without buying the printer, or how much it would cost for such an order?

« Last Edit: April 27, 2016, 05:48:09 PM by Deozaan »

Deozaan

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2016, 06:33:34 PM »
On the subject of stickers, I still need to check a local print shop, but I did find a couple places online that seem like they could do it:

For the USA: http://www.stickeryou.com/
For the UK: https://www.stickythings.co.uk/

Looks like StickerYou could possibly do it for about $10 while StickyThings can possibly do it for about £24.00.


I also went to a local print shop today and found out I can print out a 12"x18" sheet of label paper for ~$2.85 per sheet. I'm thinking that's probably what I'm going to do. Now I just need to figure out how to cut out the individual images from the sheet efficiently and accurately. I haven't had any luck finding a square hole punch at the size I'd need. I'm starting to consider if it would be worth it to build my own somehow.


Deozaan

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2016, 07:12:36 PM »
I guess I'm committed to the sticker method, as I just ordered some of these:

50 Blank White Dice 16MM
Blank Dice.jpg

« Last Edit: May 03, 2016, 05:19:44 PM by Deozaan »

Edvard

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2016, 07:37:39 PM »
Paint. 

Potentially messier, but more durable and customizable.  You can get very small jars of paint at most craft stores, so you're not paying for a ton more than you need.
Find a paint that will stick to the material those die are made of, preferably a gloss enamel of some sort, so it's durable when dry, then just draw the designs on with a Sharpie after.  FWIW, Sharpies also come in sets of colors, like crayons.

Deozaan

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2016, 12:46:23 AM »
I've got the PDF all ready to go for the printer:

GIMP Result.pngCustom dice for board games, etc.

That's at 12.5% zoom (when you click it to view it "full-size"). I've got enough for 3 sets of 13 different dice in that image, with spare room for more. I'm really going to hate myself when I have to cut all these out and apply them one by one. :'(


Paint.

That would be a decent suggestion if not for the fact that I'm not very artistic and as you can see above, the designs are a bit more complex than a simple sharpie can handle. Or at least more complex than what I can pull off with sharpies. :D


Ath

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2016, 03:47:35 AM »
Now I just need to figure out how to cut out the individual images from the sheet efficiently and accurately.
scalpel knife and steel ruler as a guide, on a sturdy backing like plywood?

tomos

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2016, 05:13:58 AM »
^ a proper cutting mat/board will make it much easier (and wont blunt the blades so much).
http://www.amazon.co...cutting+mat+graphics
Tom

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2016, 08:43:53 AM »
I've got the PDF all ready to go for the printer:

GIMP Result.pngCustom dice for board games, etc.

That's at 12.5% zoom (when you click it to view it "full-size"). I've got enough for 3 sets of 13 different dice in that image, with spare room for more. I'm really going to hate myself when I have to cut all these out and apply them one by one. :'(


Paint.

That would be a decent suggestion if not for the fact that I'm not very artistic and as you can see above, the designs are a bit more complex than a simple sharpie can handle. Or at least more complex than what I can pull off with sharpies. :D

Could you paint the colors, and then layer the stickers?

Deozaan

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2016, 08:50:53 AM »
Now I just need to figure out how to cut out the individual images from the sheet efficiently and accurately.
scalpel knife and steel ruler as a guide, on a sturdy backing like plywood?
^ a proper cutting mat/board will make it much easier (and wont blunt the blades so much).
http://www.amazon.co...cutting+mat+graphics

I am going to check more local crafting/hobby stores for a hole punch today, but someone pointed this one out to me online, which looks like it may just be perfect for the job since it's just slightly smaller than 16mm and has rounded corners and everything:

SmPunch_-_SquareInUse72_1024x1024.jpg
http://www.little-windows.com/products/small-rounded-square-5-8-punch


Could you paint the colors, and then layer the stickers?

I guess? But that would require transparent stickers or something, or else the stickers would cover the paint.


wraith808

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2016, 09:56:59 AM »
Could you paint the colors, and then layer the stickers?

I guess? But that would require transparent stickers or something, or else the stickers would cover the paint.

That's what I was figuring- but you can get stickers with just the cutouts, can't you?  I just figured I'd suggest as your designs don't seem to cover the whole side when the color is taken out of the equation.

Deozaan

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2016, 02:22:08 AM »
Could you paint the colors, and then layer the stickers?

I guess? But that would require transparent stickers or something, or else the stickers would cover the paint.

That's what I was figuring- but you can get stickers with just the cutouts, can't you?  I just figured I'd suggest as your designs don't seem to cover the whole side when the color is taken out of the equation.


Yeah, but that seems like even more work and expenses: Buying paint and then hand-painting them. Buying extra special transparent stickers and then cutting them out in their unique shapes, etc.


Stoic Joker

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2016, 07:52:32 AM »
Try it backwards. Apply the stickers as originally planned, and then apply a clear/plastic coat to enhance durability.

Just be sure do some material compatibility testing first so you know the two wont react badly to each other (some paints may smear/lift/dissolve the sticker's ink).

Deozaan

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2016, 04:35:13 PM »
I had printed out a test sheet of paper to try to get an idea of their size, so I could find a hole punch, but all the dice I put up against it showed that my images were a bit too large by a couple mm on each side. So I was concerned I'd have to redo pretty much the entire image sheet.

But my blank dice arrived today and I guess these blank dice (16mm) are a little larger than "standard" dice (12mm?), as it seems to be a pretty close match on my test sheet of paper:

Cubiq Dice Small.jpg

The images could be a few pixels smaller, but I think they're pretty good how they are, especially since the hole punch I ordered has rounded corners. But I'm not sure how big the hole punch will be on the paper, so I may need to make the images smaller anyway so I'm not cutting off a fairly significant portion of the borders.

« Last Edit: May 07, 2016, 11:02:18 AM by Deozaan »

Deozaan

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2016, 05:14:23 PM »
mouser pointed out to me in IRC that I never really explained what I'm going to use these custom dice for. They won't actually be used as dice, as they don't have any numbers on them (except the ones that use dice images) and their colors aren't particularly meaningful for any dice games that I know of.

The images are from a game I'm working on with a small team. The game has cubes which have these images on them. We're almost ready to release the game (at least for beta testing) and so I thought it would be fun to make real-life cubes like those in our game to give out to my team as a little celebration for launching our game.

Here are some screenshots of a development build showing off these cubes in-game:

Cubiq Stages 0-2.pngCustom dice for board games, etc. Cubiq Stages 3-5.pngCustom dice for board games, etc. Cubiq Stages 6-8.pngCustom dice for board games, etc. Cubiq Stages 8-10.pngCustom dice for board games, etc.


Deozaan

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2016, 05:30:13 PM »
Apply the stickers as originally planned, and then apply a clear/plastic coat to enhance durability.

This is a good idea. I may look into coating them all with a layer of Mod Podge to protect the designs from wear and keep the sticker from peeling off.


Deozaan

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2016, 05:55:13 PM »
My hole punch arrived. It's labeled as being '5/8" (1.6cm)' and I believe the 16mm measurement is the accurate one, because it's just a hair too large for the dice, which are all just under 16mm3. A 15mm hole punch would probably be perfect.

It would have been nice to know before I ordered it that it was 1.6cm (the website only said it was 5/8", which is between 15mm and 16mm), but honestly I probably still would have ordered it in the hopes that it would be close enough. I just checked the listing again and it does indeed say 16mm in the description. Somehow I missed that. Oh well. That's a pity that they advertised it as 5/8" when it's actually 16mm because 5/8" is 0.625 inches which is 15.875mm which might have worked.

I'm sure you can't tell from the photos, but it's just barely large enough that it would start curling around the rounded edges of the die, which IMO means it is more likely to peel away. That said, it still might work if I make sure to coat it with Mod Podge as previously mentioned.

I'm really not sure what else to do, honestly.

Cubiq Dice Hole Punch Small.jpgCustom dice for board games, etc. Cubiq Dice Face Dragons Small.jpgCustom dice for board games, etc.

« Last Edit: May 07, 2016, 10:55:25 AM by Deozaan »

Stoic Joker

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2016, 08:09:07 AM »
Found a 1/2 square hole punch on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/...0:g:1agAAOSwsN9W~gdk

True 15mm would be 19/32 or 15.0815mm which might still run afoul of the rounded edges. 1/2 inch is 12.7mm which might not be too bad, and is a "standard" size to can potentially be found as apposed to cu$tom made..

I'm just thinking out loud here ... Feel free to ignore me. :D

mouser

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2016, 09:18:59 AM »
Quote
which IMO means it is more likely to peel away
yep.